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Lessig, Zittrain, Barlow To Square Off Against RIAA

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ensemble-cast dept.

The Courts 288

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's case in Boston against a 24-year-old grad student, SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, in which Prof. Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School, along with members of his CyberLaw class, are representing the defendant, may shape up as a showdown between the Electronic Frontier and Big Music. The defendant's witness list includes names such as those of Prof. Lawrence Lessig (Author of 'Free Culture'), John Perry Barlow (former songwriter of The Grateful Dead and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Prof. Johan Pouwelse (Scientific Director of P2P-Next), Prof. Jonathan Zittrain (Author of 'The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It'), Professors Wendy Seltzer, Terry Fisher, and John Palfrey, and others. The RIAA requested, and was granted, an adjournment of the trial, from its previously scheduled December 1st date, to March 30, 2009. (The RIAA lawyers have been asking for adjournments a lot lately, asking for an adjournment in UMG v. Lindor the other day because they were so busy preparing for the Tenenbaum December 1st trial ... I guess when you're running on hot air, you sometimes run out of steam)."

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288 comments

Zit Train? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835527)

I bet he had a fun childhood.

Re:Zit Train? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835913)

I don't know, once he hit adolescence I could see him going Quagmire with it: "You must be at least this fine to ride the Z-train! All aboard ladies." :D

Re:Zit Train? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835943)

I feel for him. Can you imagine how sick I got of hearing "Oh, McGrew, you've done it again?"* Of course, my classmate Charlie Salmon** had it worse than me ("Sorry, Charlie")

*For those of you non-geezers out there, I was in sixth grade at the time, early'60s. There was a popular TV cartoon then called "Mister Magoo" about a nearly blind old man who was too vain to wear glasses, and of course I wore coke-bottle glasses.

**Charlie Tuna was new then, he's made a comeback in recent years. He's the "Chicken of the Sea" brand tuna mascot, and the commercials featured Charlie Tuna trying to get caught to be in their tuna can, but Charlie wasn't good enough to be Chicken of the Sea tuna.

Re:Zit Train? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836245)

Not chicken of the sea, he is for Star Kissed.

Re:Zit Train? (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836325)

-100 wrong brand, skimpy explanation.

StarKist.

They don't want tuna with good taste, they want tuna that tastes good.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835533)

yes finally a first post, riaa sucks!!!!

Re:first post (0, Offtopic)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835601)

=( looks like i blew it lol

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835693)

Who modded this offtopic? I still see it on topic, "blew it" as in air. After seeing this gem from the summary:

I guess when you're running on hot air, you sometimes run out of steam)."

And already having these 3 tags appear: steamisntair, steamiswater, !steam I'd say he made a slam dunk with his soccer ball for topic relations.

Re:first post (0, Offtopic)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835965)

Offtopic? I would say that anyone who tried to make a "first post" blew it. Thus, the above comment is spot on. Apparently BountyX has gained some insight. (But don't anyone dare mod it insightful! We don't want to encourage such things.)

Re:first post (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836181)

There's a knee-jerk reaction among many mods to downmod ANY first post, even it it's on-topic, insightful, informative, and/or funny and in no way insiteful or inflammatory. Every time I've made a first post it gets its ass ripped with "offtopic" or "troll" yet somehow winds up at better than 1, often 5.

Think before you mod.

However in this case, I'd have downmodded it too.

Re:first post (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836439)

I guess when you're running on hot air, you sometimes run out of steam

=( looks like i blew it lol

I am perturbed at the references to steam engines [mikebrownsolutions.com] today.

Re:first post (5, Informative)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835769)

Since I keep getting modded down, I feel compelled to provide userful information. I apologize for the way I stated my first comment, but the RIAA is the guardian of an industry so antiquated and oppressive that having sympathy for these guys is a little like feeling sorry for a Georgia slaveholder after watching Sherman's troops fire his mansion and scatter his livestock. Here's an industry so bloated with executives and middlemen, all of them greedily slurping up profit, that the people who actually write the songs and play the music -- the "talent" -- are getting royally screwed in the royalty department. It's been like that for years. Anyways, harvard has the court documents posted here [harvard.edu] for all to see.

Re:first post (5, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836065)

Wierd Al Yankovic, among others, have complained that they make less off digital downloads than regular sales. The problem is that the record companies haven't changed their royalty system to accommodate digital sales and probably won't. For physical media, record companies would deduct from sales for things like manufacturing and distribution out of the artists' royalties. With digital sales, there are not any real manufacturing costs and retailers like iTunes Store absorb the distribution costs. But the record company would still deduct these costs from royalties.

I wouldn't be surprised (4, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836625)

I'll bet if Weird Al were to sell his digital downloads directly on his own webpage without RIAA support he'd have a different opinion on the profitability of digital music sales. Especially if Steve Albini's numbers are correct. [negativland.com]

Al is probably earning about 2% of each sale. I'd be pissed too.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836127)

I would feel sorry for the Georgia slaveholder, he'd already (however rightly so - since it was made illegal) lost property that he'd paid for. But since he was doing something completely legal for years, society had made it illegal, it's okay for government thugs to destroy his home and and food/income as well? In the land of bad analogies that is /., your analogy truly stinks.

Re:first post (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836229)

I would feel sorry for the Georgia slaveholder, he'd already (however rightly so - since it was made illegal) lost property that he'd paid for. But since he was doing something completely legal for years, society had made it illegal, it's okay for government thugs to destroy his home and and food/income as well? In the land of bad analogies that is /., your analogy truly stinks.

Just because something is legal does not make it right. He still deserves what he gets.

Re:first post (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836637)

I would feel sorry for the Georgia slaveholder, he'd already (however rightly so - since it was made illegal) lost property that he'd paid for. But since he was doing something completely legal for years, society had made it illegal, it's okay for government thugs to destroy his home and and food/income as well? In the land of bad analogies that is /., your analogy truly stinks.

Just because something is legal does not make it right. He still deserves what he gets.

There you go again foisting your morals off on others.

He does not deserve what he gets, and the type of bullying you're suggesting amounts to something quite worse than what the RIAA does to the people on the receiving end of their bullying.

Forcing him to comply with the law is one thing, basically killing him by destroying his ability to eat is as bad as it gets, it's tantamount to murder. In fact, they are basically murdering him and his whole family (children and all), as well as anyone else who depended on him.

When freeing the slaves, the government should have done what they are required by law to do whenever they take property, they can force a sale, but they still have to pay whatever they can convince a judge is the fair market value for it. That's right, you heard me, the US government should have bought them and freed them.

And just so your high and mighty "morals" don't get too out of control, remember, most of the culture you likely benefit from was built by societies that allowed slavery or other types of indentured service. If you're a religious nut I'll also remind you that Paul, from your New Testament sent the runaway slave back to his owner.

Re:first post (2, Insightful)

chazbet (621421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836605)

Just because the law permits something, doesn't make it right to take advantage of it, when it's a stupid law. The law allowed slavery and slaveholders got rich off the sweat of other human beings, until time, circumstances, and war finally put a stop to it. All the slaveholders had to do was free his slaves to avoid the consequences of war.

The law currently allows ridiculously long period of copyright protection, while technology allows individuals to undermine the stupidity of current law. All copyright holders have to do is to put their works into the public domain (or a Creative Commons license).

See the analogy?

Re:first post (2, Funny)

db10 (740174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836619)

I've been to the land of bad analogies, they have some extremely nice fjords.

Before you start cheering them on... (5, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835539)

Before those of us here who love to download copyright films and music at no cost start cheering these men on who challenge the RIAA, let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms. He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (4, Insightful)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835657)

let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms.

I didn't think the argument was about 'sensible' copyright as opposed to the current life +75 years copyright abomination of common sense.

It may not be such a bad thing to have sane copyright laws, reasonable first sale doctrines, and appropriate penalties for consumer violations.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (3, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836145)

It may not be such a bad thing to have sane copyright laws, reasonable first sale doctrines, and appropriate penalties for consumer violations.

It wouldn't be such a bad thing to have sane copyright laws. In fact, it wasn't when we did.

The disapproval of copyright law has arisen as a result of the changes (bastardizations?) that have occurred in recent decades. No one complained about copyright when it first came into existence. If we put copyright back to the way it once was, most of the complaining will go away.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (4, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835685)

but simply restore short terms

The problems with the copyright system aren't just about getting sumthin' for nuthin'. It's about the inevitable abuses of the copyright owners.

A hyperbolic example: having to pay royalties to the RIAA because you sang "Happy Birthday to you" at your friend's party. Some may even say that the RIAA's asking settlements constitute "cruel and unusual punishment".

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835703)

The RIAA holds copyrights on recordings. The copyright on songs like Happy Birthday is held by songwriters' associations like BMI/ASCAP.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835857)

I stand corrected, but I will continue to download out of principle because I know that the eventual goal of the *AAs is to charge on a per-listen, per-song basis and they will continue to fight for their revenue stream at the expense of the consumer just as I will continue to fight for the freedom to experience my media with no strings attached. The vast majority of the stuff I download are songs from CD's I bought years ago, or older movies which I see on paid-for cable TV.

I will pay for the media when the content providers develop reasonable business models. I want to enjoy what I pay for on any device that I own without having to satisfy pointless software and hardware DRM requirements and other annoyances such as being forced to sit through previews.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (2, Insightful)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836099)

I figure, let them switch to a per song per listen business model.

Once they do, they will see how few consumers (approximately 0%) are willing to purchase music for personal use under that kind of restriction.

Piracy will become the -only- channel for consumers to personally get music, since not a single consumer will purchase a song good for only one play. Their business model collapses, hopefully chapter 11 ensues, new management enters, abolishes overpaid execs.
Sanity can return to the music industry, but I think that it will only happen after an utter and complete failure of their 'ideal' business model.

So I say let them try to charge per song per listen. It would be quite amusing when they post their first quarter profits after adopting fully such a model. I doubt they would ever really try though, because it can't be possible that they are so blinded by greed that they can't see that adopting a pay per song per play, and ending their other distribution, is complete fail.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836279)

It would be quite amusing when they post their first quarter profits after adopting fully such a model.

Then they'll blame it on piracy and the process begins anew ;)
Luckilly, it seems that each iteration is beginning to favor the consumer rather than than the content providers, and then the RIAA will run out of steam as the summary suggests.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

chad.koehler (859648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836819)

Or, they attempt to get their hands on some Government cheese. After all, their failing business model isn't their fault (just as it wasn't Ford or GM's fault). Lack of foresight to what the market will bear can bring down these institutions over time -- as long as the government doesn't deem them "too important to let fail".

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (3, Informative)

Rary (566291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836097)

The RIAA holds copyrights on recordings. The copyright on songs like Happy Birthday is held by songwriters' associations like BMI/ASCAP.

BMI and ASCAP are Performing Rights Organizations, and as such don't hold copyrights. They administer the payments of performance royalties to copyright holders.

The "Happy Birthday to You" copyright is held by Time Warner.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835755)

Minor nit: You wouldn't pay royalties to the RIAA over a live performance of Happy Birthday. You would pay BMI/ASCAP or whatever songwriters association holds the copyright.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836023)

Additional Nit: And that's only if you do so in a broadcast capacity. Not in the privacy of your own home.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836755)

Additional Additional Nit: Give them time.

Before long if your RMIM (Rectal Music Industry Microphone) detects Happy Birthday being sung within 100 yards of you, it'll automatically show up as a charge on your credit card.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835789)

No one in their right mind on Slashdot should want to abolish copyright. As authors of free software under licenses like the GPL, we actually depend on copyright law to keep our creations free.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835823)

Stallman created the GPL to use copyright against itself. He probably would be happy in a world that didn't know copyright or other forms of "intellectual property". Even if people weren't compelled to keep their changes open, a lack of NDAs and the legality of reverse engineering with help would ensure changes got leaked anyway.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836327)

You can't possibly think Stallman would be happy to abolish copyright. The entire purpose of the GPLv3 was to stop people from hiding changes in things. With no copyright, I could take any GPLed program, improve it to a point that people would want to use it in mass, and then not release any code or anything. In other words, Listen to what Stallman has to say about the BSD license.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835847)

Even those of us who use the BSDL still benefit from copyright, since without it there would be no requirement to credit us for our work. That said, I'd be in favour of abolishing copyright if someone proposes a better system (and no, usage-right systems do not count as 'better' in any way), but abolishing it and leaving a vacuum is not a good idea. Reforming it and giving terms of a sensible length is a good start.

GPL etc. is copyright defending against copyright. (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836107)

No one in their right mind on Slashdot should want to abolish copyright. As authors of free software under licenses like the GPL, we actually depend on copyright law to keep our creations free.

But what we're keeping them free from is mainly compilation copyrights.

The problem is that software couldn't be safely released into the public domain because somebody else could fix a bug or make a useful mod, copyright the fix or upgrade, and everybody else (including the original author) are hosed. They can't fix or upgrade it in the same way themselves without being in trouble. So putting software in the public domain means losing, not just control of its future (which is OK), but possibly the use of future versions (which is not).

GPL and other "free" licenses head this off by keeping the copyright alive, using it as a bludgeon to prevent others from capturing the freed software, while allowing its use by those who agree to leave it free, including its future versions.

But while killing coypyright would kill free licenses, it would also kill the thing they were created to prevent. Yes you wouldn't be able to use the copyright underlying the license to force somebody who didn't distribute the upgrade source to chose between releasing it or stopping distribution of the object (and paying big penalties). But then he couldn't use copyright to keep you from reverse-engineering his object code and distributing equivalent source, either. B-) With the original problem solved we could dispense with open licenses and some of their additional downsides (such as mutual incompatibility).

(Granted GPL has since been upgraded to provide some protection against patents, which WOULD be lost. But that's a kludge providing very limited protection. Meanwhile software patents are being attacked separately.)

= = = =

Having said all that:

My own opinion is that copyright (with reasonable term, without a ban on reverse-engineering, and without junk like "look and feel", "interface operation is a 'performance'", and "similar function is a derived work") is the right protection for software. It bans straight copying, giving adequate time for original developers to get a product established in a market before clones can appear and imposes adequate development costs on cloners, without setting patent-style boobytraps for others who independently develop the same ideas.

Re:GPL etc. is copyright defending against copyrig (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836193)

Heh. Described a different copyright problem than I named.

Compilation copyrights are copyrights on collections of otherwise free (i.e. public-domained) works. A bad guy could also get a copyright on a piece of freed software by including it with several other pieces in a distribution and copyrighting that.

Both this and copyrights on derived works based on a public-domain work are copyright recapture. Both are defended against by open licenses built on copyright. And both cease to be a problem if copyright goes away.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (2, Interesting)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835797)

The primary, and completely valid, reason to dislike the RIAA is that they harass innocent people and cost them a lot of money. They've sued individuals who didn't even own a computer. If the RIAA carefully used ethical methods, and not the shotgun "John Doe" approach they're famous for, they would have a lot more support from the Slashdot crowd. Like the DEA, they don't care at all if they've gone after the wrong person.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (5, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835819)

Are you kidding? Do you think slashdot is just a bunch of people who want to abolish copyright altogether? No copyright means the gpl is no longer enforceable. Essentially, all things would be public domain. No copyright hurts a lot of things.

The consensus Im seeing with geeks and non-geeks alike is a sensible copyright limit and sensible damage caps. We should absolutely be cheering these guys on for what they are doing. and unlike your extremist position, they have a chance of winning and changing minds.

>He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

The idea that any sensible person, let alone someone of Lessig's stature, would support something like that is beyond ridiculous. People dont mind paying fair prices and owning what they buy. The fight against the RIAA isnt to abolish copyright, its to protect consumers and to stop corporations from using the courts as a debt collection service.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835861)

This is a community where people are pretty open about using Bittorrent to download films instead of buying or renting the DVD or going to the cinema. It's a community where people have shared secrets about the best file-sharing networks for music swapping. It does seem like a good portion of the Slashdot community doesn't think there should be restrictions on the sharing of media. If there is some conflict with Stallman's ideas, they haven't noticed it yet.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (2, Insightful)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836423)

The key statement in the GP post that you overlooked is "people don't mind paying fair prices and owning what they buy".

In other words, some people download so they can actually use the content they have paid for, because it's harder to break the artificial restrictions (i.e., DRM) yourself than just download something without those restrictions.

Some people also download because they don't want to pay $20 for the crapshoot that new movies are. It's sort of like paying on the way out of a movie theater if you were entertained.

I've downloaded re-mastered CDs to see for myself if they are better or worse than the original releases that I already own. I'm not going to gamble $15 when the vast majority are worse than the original releases, because "re-mastered" today seems to mean "compress the hell out of it so that the overall volume level is louder", and stupid people will review it with astonishment about how they can now "hear the piano", even though it was there all the time and was meant to be 20dB down from the main volume.

I also own over 1000 movies on various formats, and I'm sick and tired of seeing many of them re-released every year with 20 seconds more footage, or the commentary that was supposed to be on the "special edition", but is now available on the new "extra special edition". I'm just not going to pay another $10-15 to companies that believe I'm only buying a "license" to their content and who believe that I shouldn't be allowed to sell the old version to help pay for the new one.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

Ioldanach (88584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836215)

The consensus Im seeing with geeks and non-geeks alike is a sensible copyright limit and sensible damage caps.

Also to limit time. Life of the author plus 70 years, or 95 years for a work of corporate authorship, is just obscene.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836315)

Hear hear.

Unfortunately, part of the structure of copyright law is its explicit recognition that a game of whack-a-mole is impractical as an enforcement tool if damages are limited to the actual damages from the particular infringement that is caught and successfully prosecuted - because only a tiny fraction of those infringing will be caught. So it provides a draconian minimum penalty to serve as a deterrent and to help make up for the losses on the moles that are missed.

Whether this is the right thing to do is another issue. But because this punitive function was explicitly contemplated in the structure of the law it will make arguments that the penalties are excessive more difficult.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835829)

Indeed. I just finished reading his book Creative Commons (you can download it here [free-culture.cc] ). I have to say I agree with just about everything he says in the book.

I think that if all his reforms were instituted, there wouldn't be an "abolish copyright" movement. If copyrights were truly limited, most of what is downloaded would be free to download anyway.

The main thrust of the book is that the "permission culture" (as opposed to "free culture") harms creativity itself, something I've also been preaching.

Have you hear the Kidd Rock song "all summer long?" It starts with a note-for-note and sound for sound copy of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London and copies much of Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama (the song is about drinking whiskey and smoking dope and having sex while listening to Sweet Home Alabama). The Zevon start is a very creative statement about the fact that the two songs use the same chords and sound a lot alike, something he isn't alone in noticing (a friend of mine who plays in bars does a medely of those two songs and a third I can't think of right now). If he wasn't on the same label as Warren Zevon and Lynard Skynard, there would be hellishly expensive lawsuits. It isn't right that no independant artist could have recorded a similar song.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (2, Informative)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835979)

If he wasn't on the same label as Warren Zevon and Lynard Skynard, there would be hellishly expensive lawsuits. It isn't right that no independant artist could have recorded a similar song.

Well, this is one of the main thrusts of why the MAFIAA is trying to prop up their business model though lawsuits and buying legislators. If they have copyrights that are perpetual, or at least so long that they may as well be perpetual, no one will be able to create or even express *anything* without their permission and without paying them a hefty sum. Couple that with international cooperation in IP legislation, and the future looks incredibly grim for any kind of free expression.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (3, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836427)

Well, no. Kid Rock actually licenses his music from other when he uses it. He didn't just create a song that took parts of other people's works then think no one would care, I saw him explain this a while back when he did a cover of a Metallica song. About the only thing having the same song label (if that is true) has to do with it is perhaps more favorable licensing agreements or access to the artists.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835891)

Before those of us here who love to download copyright films and music at no cost start cheering these men on who challenge the RIAA, let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms.

Shortening the term of copyright is a sensible and fair objective. I still fail to see why copyright should have a longer term than a patent (20 years maximum).

He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

Follow that path, and the production of good media will drop in quantity, while the majority of new media will be of even lower quality than today - think of user-generated content on youtube, for instance.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835927)

In the ancient world, there was no copyright. And among the literate elite, there was mass duplication when someone could transcribe poetry recitals, give it to a team of amanuenses to copy, and then sell it in the marketplace with no money going back to the author. Nonetheless, fine literature flourished and so many of the masterpieces Western civilization cherishes today were born. Abolition of copyright would mean the return of patrons as a motivating force in the arts, and it would probably be for the best.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835921)

He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

I hope you are joking. If not, who is this "we" who think they should get whatever media they want whenever they want for no cost?

What I want is copyright laws that serves the needs of copyright holders and the public equally. Shorter copyright terms, allowances for fair use and penalties for infringement that are more in line with the actual damages would be a good start.

If you just want to be a freeloader, you deserve what you get.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836183)

He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

I hope you are joking. If not, who is this "we" who think they should get whatever media they want whenever they want for no cost?

I'm not sure if this was the intent of the original poster it sounded a bit like satire against the slashdot community. I may be wrong though. In that light, the comments on articles like this tend to include a large number of people who admit to downloading copyrighted works. Some justify it by saying that they're "screwing the MAFIAA" or "making a point by not buying their stuff". I think a boycott loses it's teeth when the boycotters aren't actually boycotting the product, they just aren't paying for it.

If the people here want to boycott works with overly restrictive copyrights I fully support them. I do. I don't buy music published by the big labels and have, for the most part, avoided buying DVDs of the same type. But I don't think that gives this community some inherent right to go download it just because you wanted it. If it's of value, suck it up and buy it against your stance on copyright, or don't have it at all.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835957)

Before those of us here who love to download copyright films and music at no cost start cheering these men on who challenge the RIAA, let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms. He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

So? You're making it sound like we're all frothing at the mouth to steal every copywritten work we can without paying for it, and that there is and should be no concept of a fair cost associated with anything, ever.

Your argument seems to be implying a desire to completely abolish all copyright laws. As in, taking away the rights and protections that allow an artist to charge for his/her work, for starters. It's the artist's prerogative to want to charge something for his/her hard work. If they want to, they can, I say. But, if you don't want to pay said charge, you avoid the work, and the artist doesn't get paid. Is it that hard to understand? And no, "but I really, really want it!" is no excuse.

Would you also want to remove from copyright law the ability for artists to protect credit for their work? I know I certainly wouldn't. I didn't have a massive wave of popularity to ride when I started my artistic work[1]. I was the little guy. Still am, in fact. Without any copyright law protection, the first Johnny Jackass to come across what I've done could easily pinch it, shuffle up the name a bit, and take credit for it, and nobody would know any better. Sure, if I could crib from a massive fanbase beforehand, nobody would believe Johnny, but without it, you're pretty well screwed.

Copyright laws are what give some relevance to the GPL. Copyright laws are why you can safely take credit for your work. SOME amount of protection is needed. As an artist myself, the "restore short terms" bit and bringing some sanity to the whole process are good things, not bad things.

[1]: A work which I am not linking and posting anonymously to avoid linking, mainly because this isn't an advertisement.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836267)

Before those of us here who love to download copyright films and music at no cost start cheering these men on who challenge the RIAA, let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms. He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

Lessig has a point. Copyright does actually serve a purpose... it helps to ensure that the artists get paid for their work. This allows them to continue producing work, and provides incentive to keep working. A culture which properly provides for the artists anyway wouldn't need copyright, but in a consumerist and capitalist society, there needs to be some kind of protection for the artists' right to be paid.

Provide me a method to pay the artist directly for a digital download, and I'll happily take it.

These people grouping together to fight the RIAA is still a good thing, however, because the RIAA isn't going to give me a mechanism to pay the artist directly for their work. They're a cartel, and they do need to be fought.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836451)

Before those of us here who love to download copyright films and music at no cost start cheering these men on who challenge the RIAA, let's remember that Lessig doesn't want to abolish copyright, but simply restore short terms.

Since the mainstream in the US on copyright is to increase terms to infinity (less one day, to let the robed 9 declare it OK), increase scope nearly as much, and increase penalties to the point where you'd get a lesser term for shooting a record company executive than copying one of the albums, Lessig still deserves some cheering, even if he's not radical enough.

Personally, I think the only meaningful copyright reform in the US has to start with "Title 17 of the US Code is hereby repealed, and the United States hereby withdraws from the Berne Convention and the World International Property Organization". Then they can start with a new copyright that acknowledges the reality of modern technology rather than trying to outlaw it.

That's not what we want (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836709)

He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

Short terms is what we actually do want. Copyright and patent.

Make your money off of something when it's new. Let a few years pass. Then it goes into the public domain.

How is this a bad scenario? Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.

Re:Before you start cheering them on... (1)

myvirtualid (851756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836775)

He is not our ally in ensuring we can get whatever media we want whenever we want for no cost.

I beg your pardon? Why are you putting words in our mouths?

I don't want whatever media whenever at no cost. I want to buy a copy of a song or movie at a reasonable cost (pennies on the download, dimes for a hardcopy) and listen to that copy on my computer, in my car, in my house, while walking the dog, whatever, and make a backup copy just in case. And I want those things to be easy to do. Easy for me. And easy for my 75 year old Mother when she buys something.

If I want to watch a movie again and again (which is the only reason I buy 'em in the first place), then when I stick the farging disk in the farging player I want it to farging play, goldurnit! I don't want to have to watch the same warning over and over and over and over and over and OMG not again over....

And I want all works to eventually get where they should be: The public domain. Perpetual copyrights and excessively long copyrights and corporate coddling are social evils.

As it is now, I cannot

  1. Buy a copy of a song or movie at a reasonable price.
  2. Buy a copy of a song or movie and know for sure that I can make a backup copy.
  3. Buy a copy of a song or movie and know for sure that I can access it on whatever player I happen to have handy (computer, 10 year old car CD player, 1 month old portable player, etc.). I can only use one at a time, so why this be difficult?
  4. Make fair use of an excerpt from a song or movie and not have myself sued unto the seventh generation. Happy Birthday, indeed.
  5. Know that future generations will be able to freely explore their history, just as we can freely explore our history, freely access and study works of the past, both great and mundane.

For #1, my alternatives are to download copies of questionable quality from sites of questionable morality, downloading itself being an act of questionable legality, or to go without. Some choice. Thanks Hobson.

For #2 and #3, well, since I happen to use Linux, I have an easier time obtaining and using the tools necessary to allow me to exercise my legal rights (in Canada, backup copies are, AFAIK but IANAL, legal), but why should I have to go through extraordinarily painful hoops to do so?

And my poor Mom doesn't stand a chance of understanding those hoops. And she lives on Windows, so they're orders of magnitude more painful.

For #4 and #5, well, forget it, there is nothing I can realistically do. The courts are far too sympathetic to corporate and estate interests: The presumption is that I am a criminal and a pirate so I must defend myself at outrageous expense, and hope, just hope that the courts get it right and order my costs to be paid. Sometime before me and my heirs are bankrupt, bankrupt because I presumed to exercise my rights.

The situation is so ass-backwards it is no longer even slightly amusing.

Lessig? I declare him to be my friend because he is a careful and balanced and critical thinker. Restore short term copyright? I'm good with that. It'll go to #5. And the thinking behind it will go to number #[1234] as well.

I will always be willing to support those that produce things of interest to me. But how do I know what they produce is of interest if I cannot sample?

Every song or movie I've downloaded and liked I've bought on disk. Despite the price. And for every such disk there are several I regret buying and wished I'd downloaded and test-listened first.

Imagine not being able to test drive a car before buying. Imagine a winery or brew-pub that did not provide tastes of their products.

Imagine industries that don't treat their customers like criminals.

Imagine computers and media players and songs and movies that don't treat fans like slaves.

Hyperbole? No.

I want to support artists whose work interests me.

I don't want to support cartels of lawyers and megalomaniac political and corporate leaders who think they should be able to control my computer, my media player, and my entertainment experience, all in the same of protecting the labels, protecting narrow corporate interests.

Copyright is good. Without it, we wouldn't have the GPL. God bless the GPL. Heck, bless the BSD license too, I'm feeling charitable.

Without copyright, you'd be able to take what I write and claim it as your own or modify it arbitrarily and claim it as mine, and I would have no defense.

And without copyright, we would back to relying on wealthy patrons and governments to support the production of artistic works and entertainment and there would be far fewer voices.

I don't think anyone on /. would seriously want copyright eliminated. I believe most of us - here, in basements everywhere, and in the real world - want copyright to be of reasonable duration and to be used and enforced reasonably. And we want the presumption of criminality and the imposition of DRM slavery to go where they should, the trash can of history. Nightmares, with luck, soon to be forgotten.

I wish you the best, guys. (1, Insightful)

bannerman (60282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835555)

Hit 'em hard for freedom's sake, eh?

Remember that Justice is Blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835743)

Hit 'em hard for freedom's sake, eh?

Well, I'm glad you're so certain that the grad student has not broken any laws. Frankly, I'm not certain anything the RIAA is doing is illegal ... and if that's the case, we need to target a change in the laws.

Re:Remember that Justice is Blind (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836075)

Notice the original anon c didn't say anything about legality or illegality?

They talked only about freedom. Freedom and legality are two different and distinct concepts.

Personally I don't give a shit if copying something that is under copyright is illegal or not. It is about freedom really.

The freedom to copy is quite distinct from the fact being illegal or not.

Lessig AND Barlow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835583)

NEXT WEEK at the MANHATTAN SLAMATARIUM! Aaaaaaaaaaare you reeeeeaaaaadyyy to RRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUMMMMBLE?

Not surprising at all (5, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835587)

Is anyone surprised that the Righteous Inquisition Army of Autocrats is resquesting more time? It takes a LOT of lawyers to succesfully bully and threaten an entire all-star team of intellectuals college professors well-reknowned in their fields as opposed as a single young student. You don't just steamroll a group like that with a single "cease and decist or we'll ruin you" email.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835879)

You don't just steamroll a group like that with a single "cease and decist or we'll ruin you" email.

Dangit! *closes exchange*

Re:Not surprising at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836025)

Given the way the RIAA has acted in the past I'd be surprised if they don't just file some more suits and try to out-spend to win.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

cloakable (885764) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836209)

That presumably matters if you're paying your lawyers.

Is this pro-bono or not? Anyone know?

Re:Not surprising at all (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836249)

Is this pro-bono or not? Anyone know?

My guess is yes. The Judge specifically asked Prof. Nesson to take the case. It's in this transcript [blogspot.com] , where she asks Mr. Tenenbaum if he'd been contacted by Prof. Nesson yet.

For mainstream spin see... (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835651)

I submitted a story about this Monday, Constitutionality of P2P law "under attack" (rejected) after seeing it in an AP story in the Chicago Tribune. That story quoted NYCL, who it of course called Ray Beckerman. I wondered at the time why he hadn't submitted it himself.

But at any rate, for the corporate media spin on this, here are a few links:
Billion Dollar Charlie vs. the RIAA [boston.com]
Legal Jujitsu in a File-Sharing Copyright Case [nytimes.com]
Lawsuits Brought by Music Industry Are Unconstitutional, Lawyer Says [findingdulcinea.com]
Law professor fires back at song-swapping lawsuits (AP) [google.com]
Law Professor Takes on RIAA [thecrimson.com]
Prof: Penalty unfair, will help with $1M download lawsuit [bostonherald.com]
RIAA defendant enlists Harvard Law prof, students [arstechnica.com]
Harvard Professor: File-Sharing Lawsuits Unconstitutional [foxnews.com]

Re:For mainstream spin see... (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836111)

I submitted a story about this Monday, Constitutionality of P2P law "under attack" (rejected) after seeing it in an AP story in the Chicago Tribune. That story quoted NYCL, who it of course called Ray Beckerman. I wondered at the time why he hadn't submitted it himself.

I had submitted the story about Prof. Nesson entering this RIAA litigation [slashdot.org] , but the Slashdot editors chose someone else's story.

Delay, Delay, Delay... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835653)

While this approach may work when suing Gramma, it's a different story when you roll in pro bono representation and evangelical students.

Wonder how long Sony is going to keep writing checks?

If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth... (5, Insightful)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835745)

I might stop being spitting mad.

I hate:
1. DVD's that lock you out of fast forwarding through the crap (long intros, FBI warnings, previews, etc).
2. Stupid itunes making it a hassle to give my wife a copy of something WE own legally (or often was free in the first place).
3. Anti-competitive prices on CD's, and music in general. There have been findings of fact showing anti-competivie behavior, but nothing done to stop it.
4. CD's that try to install crap on my machine (yes, you Sony).
5. DVD's that all prevent me from being able to make fair use of their content (using short clips for example) without becoming a criminal.
6. Retarded EULA's.

    I want to own my own shit again!

    I can't wait until my clothing starts coming with FBI warnings that the design is trademarked, pateneted and that I may only wear the shirt before Labor Day, and before 8 PM on weeknights. You just wait.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (2, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835939)

Yeah, well the manufacturers of that shirt might sue you if your picture is taken wearing 'their' shirt. It happens [slashdot.org] with cars [boingboing.net] .

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836459)

I had posted that story to a photography forum I'm a member of and someone took the initiative to contact Toyota's legal department. They're backpedaling now on their original claim:

Response (XXXX) 11/18/2008 04:34 PM
Thank you for contacting Toyota with your comments and concerns regarding the use of vehicle images. The letter asking the DesktopNexus site to remove all images featuring a Toyota, Scion or Lexus vehicle was the result of mis-communication at Toyota, which we regret.

Copyright law protects the creative work product of artists, photographers, and other creators. Toyota respects these rights, including those of photographers who work with Toyota. Toyota purchases the rights to the images it posts on its sites, and welcomes public use of those images where we have the rights to give. However, this permission is limited to editorial or personal use, not commercial use, such as advertising any products or services. That's because the photographers - not Toyota - retain the rights to any commercial use, and we cannot give permission to use those images for that purpose. In response the concerns raised by DesktopNexus, Toyota is working with photographers to determine what images may be used for non-commercial purposes, and what we can do to provide broader access.

We hope you will understand and appreciate the legal constraints we face.

Toyota also welcomes interested members of the public to use their own images or photography of Toyota's vehicles, and we confirm that we have no objection to this use.

We appreciate your interest in our products.

Toyota Customer Experience

Translation: We found a couple of legitimately infringing photos on your site but rather than give you specifics we decided to be lazy and just order them all down. We figured you'd just roll over and take it, but then you had to spread the word. Now we're facing a ton of bad PR so we're going to limit our claims to just those originally infringing photos.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835987)

I can't wait until my clothing starts coming with FBI warnings that the design is trademarked, pateneted and that I may only wear the shirt before Labor Day, and before 8 PM on weeknights.

That's absolutely reasonable. When you wear that shirt, you're representing Tommy Hilfiger and are, therefore, impacting the future sales of that brand. By wearing that white shirt after labor day, you're in effect saying that the Hilfiger brand itself is out of style, causing irreparable and immeasurable damage. This theft of future sales is obviously wrong and it needs to be stopped. Since there's no telling how many days you've warn that shirt in a damaging way, and there's no telling how many people were negatively impacted, I think it's entirely fair to set the minimum damages to $15,000 and the maximum at 2% of the brand's gross yearly earnings (even though the damages may be much, much greater).

Also, since clothing brands are named after the person who designed them, and by wearing them incorrectly, we're going to start calling the improper wearing of clothes "Assassination" instead of the more tame "bad style". The Designer Assassination Prevention Act of 2009 will set all of this into the law books. It's only fair, after all.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836581)

Brilliant.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (2, Funny)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836599)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Are you working on legislation which would lock up all of those content thieves who get up and go to the bathroom instead of watching the commercials thereby depriving the starving artists of their hard earned income?

These BATHROOM BANDITS must be stopped.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836013)

I hate: 1. DVD's that lock you out of fast forwarding through the crap (long intros, FBI warnings, previews, etc). 2. Stupid itunes making it a hassle to give my wife a copy of something WE own legally (or often was free in the first place). 3. Anti-competitive prices on CD's, and music in general. There have been findings of fact showing anti-competivie behavior, but nothing done to stop it. 4. CD's that try to install crap on my machine (yes, you Sony). 5. DVD's that all prevent me from being able to make fair use of their content (using short clips for example) without becoming a criminal. 6. Retarded EULA's.

Easy solution: Don't buy any of that stuff.

I can't wait until my clothing starts coming with FBI warnings that the design is trademarked, pateneted and that I may only wear the shirt before Labor Day, and before 8 PM on weeknights.

Then we'll just get all of our clothing from Sweden like we currently do with all of our media ;)

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836043)

I have to agree with you except for #3. An anticompetetive price would be one that was underpriced, when RIAA music is sickeningly overpriced. There is no reason whatever why you should have to pay more than ten bucks for a CD, as you can get professionally duplicated lots as small as 1000 for $1k including covers and printing. I'd guess for RIAA sized lots they could get them for a quarter of that.

Most local bands here in Springfield have their own CDs, and sell them for five or ten bucks each.

copyright protection schemes (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836073)

have three effects:

1. they punish well-behaved customers for what pirates do
2. they have zero effect on the pirates
3. they turn well-behaved customers into pirates

Re:copyright protection schemes (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836437)

I think you're confused. Pirates hijack boats, sometimes kill people, sometimes hold hostages for ransom, and otherwise cause jackassery upon the open sea (near Somalia I guess).

Copyright infringement is a civil matter and has to do with DRM and the like.

Please don't continue calling copyright infringement piracy. It's not.

you missed one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836293)

I hate:
7. apostrophes

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836295)

I've seen what you wear after 8PM on weeknights, I wouldn't be caught dead on your ass either.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836571)

I can't wait until my clothing starts coming with FBI warnings that the design is trademarked, pateneted and that I may only wear the shirt before Labor Day, and before 8 PM on weeknights. You just wait.

Wait till produce markets start selling oranges that have a note injected under the peel that says, after about 6 pages of legal boilerplate and definitions, "Sunkist Oranges are owned and trademarked by Sunkist. Any reproduction including but not limited to: using seeds to grow more Sunkist Oranges, taking pictures of Sunkist Oranges, or using Sunkist Oranges for any non-personal use is prohibited by law and punishable by a maximum fine of up to $500,000 per offense and 5 years of incarceration. Purchasing this orange licenses you to one user per purchase. If you wish to share this orange, you must contact Sunkist to purchase additional licenses through our hotline below. By tasting, juicing, or breaking this orange into slices, you agree to these terms." and meanwhile, it infects your house with airborn SecureFROOT scurvy.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836677)

Here's a newsflash, those navel oranges that taste so yummy? You can't grow a tree from them as they are sterile (I forget the actual term applied to fruit). So they've already taken that step. Now I don't know how they will do the EULA under the peel, but for now they probably just stick it on the box/bag/outside. :-)

*Seedless watermelon and grapes are the same... can't grow your own either. I am OK with that since I'll never do either.

Re:If they'd stop putting a bad taste in my mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25836757)

The solution to all those problems is....

Pirate your media.

Better 'customer' experience. Lower price.

Heck. You're stupid not to pirate. What with the way the media companys have been treating people lately.
     

Strange timing (2)

phoebus1553 (522577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835893)

Are they perhaps trying to postpone the trial long enough so that the class has finished it's term and the 'defense team' has moved on to a new subject?

Re:Strange timing (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836207)

Are they perhaps trying to postpone the trial long enough so that the class has finished it's term and the 'defense team' has moved on to a new subject?

Perhaps yes. But last time I looked, Harvard Law School did have a sufficient number of new applicants to keep Prof. Nesson's CyberLaw class quite full.

eternal, spiritual, good offing evile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835917)

the way it's always been meant to be. even though it's minions tend to foist themselves to their appropriate reward, it's still no giveaway.

Delay While Lobbying (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25835923)

The RIAA lawyers have been asking for adjournments a lot lately, asking for an adjournment in UMG v. Lindor the other day because they were so busy preparing for the Tenenbaum December 1st trial ... I guess when you're running on hot air, you sometimes run out of steam

I'd restate that as, "I guess when congress sells you a few new laws every year, delaying is a pretty smart business tactic."

Re:Delay While Lobbying (1)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836125)

Wouldn't the judge/others have to do their decisions only based on the laws that were at the time of this very criminal act?

Wouldn't it be unconstitutional for someone get convicted of something that might not had been illegal when the act was committed?

That is, if *AA would get some more horrendous laws passed while they are on Hawaii...

DICh.K (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25835951)

BSD's filesystem qua8reled on GNAA and support

Adjournment: So the RIAA is basically saying . . . (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836015)

"I'll get back to ya on that!"

Didn't someone just recently copyright that phrase?

I hope the RIAA gets sued!

Just waiting. (4, Funny)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836093)

Obviously they're postponing trials because they are busy drafting a Federal bailout of the music industry.

The Govt. created the Internet, they owe the record companies some love. $30 Billion ought to do it.

Well Shoot (1)

JonDorian88 (1341359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836143)

When we finally get these production companies out of the picture maybe we can start getting some decent music. These companies have stunted artist evolution since they starting coming up with formulas for shallow success. This is one industry that should go the way of GM out of principle.

Re:Well Shoot (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836291)

When we finally get these production companies out of the picture maybe we can start getting some decent music

There is already lots and lots of very, very good music out there. The problem is that the RIAA has a monopoly on getting their dreck on the radio.

Go to bars, I've seen some incredibly talented people playing in bars with professionally produced, recorded, and duplicated CDs for five to ten bucks each, available at their shows. They're in it for the art. Making art for the love of art often makes money, but making art for the sake of money seldom makes good art.

The first question to ask... (0, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836639)

Is what do these all these "expert" witnesses contribute to the case before the court?

In the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," the issue before the trial court wasn't evolution, it was the teaching of evolution in the public schools in violation of Tennessee state law.

Which meant that all the intellectual firepower Darrow had assembled to defend evolution had no platform. They had nothing useful to say. Nothing admissible as evidence.

The place to make that argument was before the Tennessee legislature.

From TFA... (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836751)

Not TFA for this, but another posted above: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,453365,00.html [foxnews.com]

Entertainment attorney Jay Cooper, who specializes in music and copyright issues at Los Angeles-based Greenberg Traurig, is convinced that Nesson will not persuade the federal court to strike down the copyright law.

He said the statutory damages it awards enable recording companies to get compensation in cases where it is difficult to prove actual damages.

The record companies have echoed that line of defense.

Umm... ok. So, you feel entitled to compensation even though you can't prove anything. I'm sorry, but this calls for a huge:

WTF!!??

RIAA and the copyright MAFIA need to end. (2, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25836811)

The copyright environment sucks.

I was using a torrent to download a linux distro the other day. I was actually concerned about being "tracked" by my ISP as a file pirate.

This is so wrong. Corporations are using private law backed up by copyright statute to create a Kafka-esque "guilty because we say you are guilty" environment. Oh, sure, they don't have the power to imprison you, but with the courts they do have the power to bankrupt you with lawyers fees with no credible evidence.

I'm serious, people need to start fighting back, and not just in the courts. Who says they get to make the rules? What they are doing is not fair, it is not civilized, and it is not human. The fight, therefor, need not be either.

If every lawyer and executive that works for a RIAA company gets egged every day on the way to work. If every car they own gets its tires slashed. If every time they are in a starbucks, someone pours hot coffee on their suit. If every time someone sees one yells at the top of their lungs "CRIMINAL F(*&CK GET OUT OF HERE." Maybe they'll start to see that the money they are being paid to ruin people's lives will in turn ruin theirs.

We don't have the money to fight them in court, but we can ruin their lives just as easy as they can ruin the lives of innocent people. If they don't have a conscience, perhaps we should perform that function for them. I'm not calling for violence, not at all. I am calling for wholesale property damage. Break everything they own when ever they get it. They feel perfectly comfortable wreakig financial havoc on people, we should feel the same until they stop.

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  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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